Japan Trip Update/Report

Haley R

With all the strength of a raging fire
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
Hi Haley... was the whole hotel not clean... or just your room? I was wondering if it was a overall problem, or more than likely isolated to the housekeeper that had your room? As of right now we are planning on staying at HTB.... not unless I hit the lottery... then I can afford the cost of staying on site...

As well do you think that the large group and school groups were due to the time of year, you guys were over there?
It was just our room that was dirty and really it was just the chair and couch. I was able to wipe the chair off easily so they clearly just didn’t see it or didn’t clean it. While we were there the housekeepers did a great job.

My guess is they always have groups there. The Japanese school kids were perfectly fine and very respectful. We had two large groups come from France while we were there and both groups were very loud and rude.
 

indoshakespeare

Reach out and find your Happily Ever After
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Hmm..If you're not members of Hilton or Sheraton, I wonder if it's better to stay at the other hotels (such as Sunroute and Okura) since they're likely will not have non-Japanese groups
 

Haley R

With all the strength of a raging fire
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
Hmm..If you're not members of Hilton or Sheraton, I wonder if it's better to stay at the other hotels (such as Sunroute and Okura) since they're likely will not have non-Japanese groups
Hmm I’m not sure. I would still stay at the Hilton again just because we get good rewards with them.
 
  • Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    I've finally had time to go through some documents and add totals up from our Japan trip. These are rough estimates of what we paid, but should give a pretty good idea of what someone could expect booking a similar trip.

    Paid with cash
    $100.00 - early bird check in
    $22.40 - 9/11 fee for Southwest
    $257.95 - Hilton Tokyo Bay (1 night partially paid with cash)
    $80 - Airbnb gift card (paid portion of staples cashback)
    $58.50 - Airbnb gift card (paid portion of lowes cashback)
    $87 - Airbnb gift card (paid portion of $100 on raise.com)
    $328.15 - remainder of Airbnb stay
    $80 - Tokyo Dome baseball tickets
    -$45 (cashback discover statement credit)
    $57 - remainder of Jr pass / Ghibli tickets
    $81 - Baseball Tickets
    $98 - Hakone Free Pass
    $64 - Digital Art Museum tickets
    $684.62 - Taxes and fees on 2 business class tickets
    Total Cash Paid: $1,998.62


    Paid with points/free

    $565 travel redeemed with capital one (jr pass/ghibli tickets)
    $45 (cashback discover statement credit)
    $13 - airbnb (coupons on raise.com for $100 gift card)
    $50 - airbnb gift card (discover cash back-$45 in cashback spent)
    $6.50- airbnb gift card (lowes 10% cash back)
    $10 -airbnb gift card (staples 10% of $100)
    $49.22 - airbnb (15% cash back chase preferred card)
    $889.20 - 2 LAX southwest flight (55k southwest points from biz cc)
    $8329.96 - 2 ANA business class seats to Tokyo (chase points 90k each-bought through Virgin Atlantic)
    $180 - LAX hotel before flight (12,844 chase points)
    $173 - Hakone hotel (11,342 chase points)
    $685 - Kyoto apartment hotel (46,525 chase points)
    $1,289.75 - Hilton Tokyo Bay (5 nights paid with 257k Hilton points from Hilton personal and biz ccs)
    Total Points/Free: $12,285.63
     

    gelatoni fan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2018
    I've finally had time to go through some documents and add totals up from our Japan trip. These are rough estimates of what we paid, but should give a pretty good idea of what someone could expect booking a similar trip.

    Paid with cash
    $100.00 - early bird check in
    $22.40 - 9/11 fee for Southwest
    $257.95 - Hilton Tokyo Bay (1 night partially paid with cash)
    $80 - Airbnb gift card (paid portion of staples cashback)
    $58.50 - Airbnb gift card (paid portion of lowes cashback)
    $87 - Airbnb gift card (paid portion of $100 on raise.com)
    $328.15 - remainder of Airbnb stay
    $80 - Tokyo Dome baseball tickets
    -$45 (cashback discover statement credit)
    $57 - remainder of Jr pass / Ghibli tickets
    $81 - Baseball Tickets
    $98 - Hakone Free Pass
    $64 - Digital Art Museum tickets
    $684.62 - Taxes and fees on 2 business class tickets
    Total Cash Paid: $1,998.62


    Paid with points/free

    $565 travel redeemed with capital one (jr pass/ghibli tickets)
    $45 (cashback discover statement credit)
    $13 - airbnb (coupons on raise.com for $100 gift card)
    $50 - airbnb gift card (discover cash back-$45 in cashback spent)
    $6.50- airbnb gift card (lowes 10% cash back)
    $10 -airbnb gift card (staples 10% of $100)
    $49.22 - airbnb (15% cash back chase preferred card)
    $889.20 - 2 LAX southwest flight (55k southwest points from biz cc)
    $8329.96 - 2 ANA business class seats to Tokyo (chase points 90k each-bought through Virgin Atlantic)
    $180 - LAX hotel before flight (12,844 chase points)
    $173 - Hakone hotel (11,342 chase points)
    $685 - Kyoto apartment hotel (46,525 chase points)
    $1,289.75 - Hilton Tokyo Bay (5 nights paid with 257k Hilton points from Hilton personal and biz ccs)
    Total Points/Free: $12,285.63
    I assume you've been saving up points for a while to do the trip like this. Seems like you ran out of Hilton points as well.
    I actually prefer paying cash for hotels in Japan and burning the points in China and Taiwan but Marriott has a much bigger points differential than Hilton.
     

    Chisoxcollector

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2013
    Just read through this whole report while flying from Orlando to San Diego. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Two weeks ago I booked our trip to Japan for February 1-16, 2020. We chose February because we like cold weather and hate crowds, lol.

    I might pester you you with a question or two as my trip approaches, if that’s okay?

    I actually have one question now. I was only planning buying a JR pass as our main form of transportation for the entire trip. I see you had a variety of cards and passes that you used. Were those all really necessary? If so I need to do some more research lol!
     

    gelatoni fan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2018
    I was only planning buying a JR pass as our main form of transportation for the entire trip. I see you had a variety of cards and passes that you used. Were those all really necessary? If so I need to do some more research lol!
    The JR pass only includes trains/buses owned by JR so it can be inconvenient to only rely on JR transporation. For example, you could take the Narita Express + Maihama line + free shuttle to get to hotels at Disney on a JR pass but that's a lot more trouble than the bus directly to to the hotel from Narita. If you aren't taking at least a round trip between cities via bullet train, the JR pass probably will not even be worth it.

    You'll probably need the monorail pass for the Disney resort line and an IC card of some sort. If you arrive in Tokyo first, you can get a Suica or Pasmo. If you arrive in Osaka first, you can get an Icoca. Cards from other cities may have less acceptance across Japan so you'll have to research those individually.
     
  • MKTokyo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2018
    I've finally had time to go through some documents and add totals up from our Japan trip. These are rough estimates of what we paid, but should give a pretty good idea of what someone could expect booking a similar trip.

    Paid with cash
    $100.00 - early bird check in
    $22.40 - 9/11 fee for Southwest
    $257.95 - Hilton Tokyo Bay (1 night partially paid with cash)
    $80 - Airbnb gift card (paid portion of staples cashback)
    $58.50 - Airbnb gift card (paid portion of lowes cashback)
    $87 - Airbnb gift card (paid portion of $100 on raise.com)
    $328.15 - remainder of Airbnb stay
    $80 - Tokyo Dome baseball tickets
    -$45 (cashback discover statement credit)
    $57 - remainder of Jr pass / Ghibli tickets
    $81 - Baseball Tickets
    $98 - Hakone Free Pass
    $64 - Digital Art Museum tickets
    $684.62 - Taxes and fees on 2 business class tickets
    Total Cash Paid: $1,998.62


    Paid with points/free

    $565 travel redeemed with capital one (jr pass/ghibli tickets)
    $45 (cashback discover statement credit)
    $13 - airbnb (coupons on raise.com for $100 gift card)
    $50 - airbnb gift card (discover cash back-$45 in cashback spent)
    $6.50- airbnb gift card (lowes 10% cash back)
    $10 -airbnb gift card (staples 10% of $100)
    $49.22 - airbnb (15% cash back chase preferred card)
    $889.20 - 2 LAX southwest flight (55k southwest points from biz cc)
    $8329.96 - 2 ANA business class seats to Tokyo (chase points 90k each-bought through Virgin Atlantic)
    $180 - LAX hotel before flight (12,844 chase points)
    $173 - Hakone hotel (11,342 chase points)
    $685 - Kyoto apartment hotel (46,525 chase points)
    $1,289.75 - Hilton Tokyo Bay (5 nights paid with 257k Hilton points from Hilton personal and biz ccs)
    Total Points/Free: $12,285.63
    You can also add the value of the UR etc that you earned from your spending! (Depending on what you personally value them as.) I forgot to do that for our France trip but I’m going to try to remember to do it when I write up our UK trip.

    & now you can put those points towards your own UK trip :p
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    I assume you've been saving up points for a while to do the trip like this. Seems like you ran out of Hilton points as well.
    I actually prefer paying cash for hotels in Japan and burning the points in China and Taiwan but Marriott has a much bigger points differential than Hilton.
    We saved points up for about a year so really not that long. Most people try to plan at least two years out. Dh and I both got cards that gave us good sign up bonuses.

    We didn’t have enough Hilton points because we didn’t get those cards until later (last fall or winter). If we would’ve had more time we probably could’ve covered the stay. The main reason was because we chose the celebrio room instead of the standard room.
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    Just read through this whole report while flying from Orlando to San Diego. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Two weeks ago I booked our trip to Japan for February 1-16, 2020. We chose February because we like cold weather and hate crowds, lol.

    I might pester you you with a question or two as my trip approaches, if that’s okay?

    I actually have one question now. I was only planning buying a JR pass as our main form of transportation for the entire trip. I see you had a variety of cards and passes that you used. Were those all really necessary? If so I need to do some more research lol!
    You can ask as many questions as you want. It doesn’t bother me at all. I got a lot of information from here for our trip too.

    If you’re in Tokyo for awhile I would either get the Tokyo metro pass or you can just pay for a PASMO/SUICA card. The reason we went the metro pass route was so we didn’t have to worry about always filling up the IC card. The plus side of an IC card is you don’t have to worry about what type of train you get on. There’s pros and cons to both but no you can’t just get a JR pass and call it good. I used a website that had a calculator. I put in all of our planned trips on trains and it told me if we would make our money’s worth with the rail pass.

    We bought a PASMO (each person needs one) and we were able to use it all the way down in Osaka.

    I think the main thing we did was plan our routes ahead of time and tried to guess on times. That way we could kind of see which trains we would be using and what routes to take.
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    You can also add the value of the UR etc that you earned from your spending! (Depending on what you personally value them as.) I forgot to do that for our France trip but I’m going to try to remember to do it when I write up our UK trip.

    & now you can put those points towards your own UK trip :p
    Oh I didn’t even think to do that! I probably won’t go back and do it now but that’s true to think about the fact that we earned points while we were there too. We used dh’s CSR to get the 3x on dining and travel.
     
  • Naughty Nurse

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2012
    Thanks so much for your detailed review...I loved how detailed your disney resort days were...really gives an indication of just how you can achieve in a day
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    Just read through this whole report while flying from Orlando to San Diego. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Two weeks ago I booked our trip to Japan for February 1-16, 2020. We chose February because we like cold weather and hate crowds, lol.

    I might pester you you with a question or two as my trip approaches, if that’s okay?

    I actually have one question now. I was only planning buying a JR pass as our main form of transportation for the entire trip. I see you had a variety of cards and passes that you used. Were those all really necessary? If so I need to do some more research lol!


    We are planning our trip for next November... and in reading here and asking lots of question... Big thanks to Haley and everyone for the all the info...

    We are going to buy a 7 Day JR rail pass, as well a Suica card... Suica can be used not only for train rides, and in convenience stores to purchase snacks and such... As far as a metro pass ( local trains) we are thinking about it... but not sure if we will need it... once I pin down all the details.. We will decided on if we need it or not.... as well we are thinking about the hop on hop off buses for Tokyo and Osaka... instead of the the local trains... DH like the idea of being able to see more, and change plans if somewhere looks interesting to jump off and explore... We did this in Paris, with the hop on hop off bus and really liked it, and enjoyed using it.... it worked for us and how we like to travel and tour...
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    We are planning our trip for next November... and in reading here and asking lots of question... Big thanks to Haley and everyone for the all the info...

    We are going to buy a 7 Day JR rail pass, as well a Suica card... Suica can be used not only for train rides, and in convenience stores to purchase snacks and such... As far as a metro pass ( local trains) we are thinking about it... but not sure if we will need it... once I pin down all the details.. We will decided on if we need it or not.... as well we are thinking about the hop on hop off buses for Tokyo and Osaka... instead of the the local trains... DH like the idea of being able to see more, and change plans if somewhere looks interesting to jump off and explore... We did this in Paris, with the hop on hop off bus and really liked it, and enjoyed using it.... it worked for us and how we like to travel and tour...
    The metro pass will kind of depend on where you're staying and which routes you plan to take. So after you have a general itinerary you'll be able to make that decision. As far as the buses, we thought they were super difficult to navigate on. A lot of the buses only posted stops in Japanese so we had to keep looking down and up to see if it matched our phone (which sometimes only posted in English). We got off at wrong stops too many times on buses and said we would never take them again. The trains were so much easier and had English on the signs and on the announcements in the train. If you're wanting to take the bus to get off and explore without a clear plan, I think that could work, but we really did find the trains to be much easier getting around.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    The metro pass will kind of depend on where you're staying and which routes you plan to take. So after you have a general itinerary you'll be able to make that decision. As far as the buses, we thought they were super difficult to navigate on. A lot of the buses only posted stops in Japanese so we had to keep looking down and up to see if it matched our phone (which sometimes only posted in English). We got off at wrong stops too many times on buses and said we would never take them again. The trains were so much easier and had English on the signs and on the announcements in the train. If you're wanting to take the bus to get off and explore without a clear plan, I think that could work, but we really did find the trains to be much easier getting around.



    Where you guys on the local buses... or the hop on hop off tourist buses? - If you guys were on the tourist buses... I will most definitely need to rethink this plan of using them...

    I will say one reason we like the hop on hop off tour bus in Paris... is that you could plug into the bus, like on a plane, choose your language, and as you passed by point on the maps it would give you some info, and as you approach the bus stop, it would tell what number/color it was, and the tourist sites close by... the bus stops themselves were colored and numbered... in several languages... either on the map that was posted and/or outside on the poles holding up the covering....
     

    Tanzanite

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 20, 2007
    If you want to check to see if JRpass worth it Hyperdia great to see on our last trip our pass paid off big trip from Tokyo to Nagasaki then lots other trips was huge savings .
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    Where you guys on the local buses... or the hop on hop off tourist buses? - If you guys were on the tourist buses... I will most definitely need to rethink this plan of using them...

    I will say one reason we like the hop on hop off tour bus in Paris... is that you could plug into the bus, like on a plane, choose your language, and as you passed by point on the maps it would give you some info, and as you approach the bus stop, it would tell what number/color it was, and the tourist sites close by... the bus stops themselves were colored and numbered... in several languages... either on the map that was posted and/or outside on the poles holding up the covering....
    We were on local buses so that’s probably why. I had never heard of hop on/hop off buses but I know you’ve mentioned them to me before. I’ve just never seen anyone talk about using them in japan.
     

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